Mali to introduce universal health insurance

The government of Mali has introduced a bill for universal health insurance known as Regime d'Assurance Maladie Universelle, or RAMU. RAMU aims to provide the entire Malian population with a single health insurance plan, in accordance with Article 17 of Mali’s Constitution.

The bill was adopted by Mali’s Council of Ministers in its ordinary session of 20 June 2018, and by Mali’s NationalAssembly in its plenary session of 13 December 2018. The bill is expected to be passed by parliament sometime in 2019.


Currently, the compulsory health insurance, medical assistance and supplemental health insurance plans in Mali cover only 12 percent of the Malian population. Health coverage is extremely low, and many Malians are currently left completely uncovered. To achieve the World Health Organisation’s health coverage goals, the government of Mali has been benchmarking health insurance usage to determine the best way to create and implement a universal health insurance plan since 2015. The goal of universal health coverage is to ensure that all individuals have access to health services without incurring financial hardship. 

Key Details 

The effectiveness of RAMU is based on unified health coverage, contribution in advance of claims, and third-party payment systems. It is intended to cover the entire Malian population in the private and public sectors and will apply to all Malian people, whether living in Mali or abroad. The bill requires further clarification on how the coverage of Malians living abroad will be addressed. 

RAMU will be managed by the National Health Insurance Fund (CANAM), and the contributions made by Malians will be made according to their means. The bill is in preliminary stages and it is still unclear how it will be financed. 

Next steps

This bill is still a work in progress, and a group of experts and consultants are actively working on the implementation details to ensure full operation sometime in 2019. Employers should monitor its implementation timeline and ensure compliance once the law enters into force.

For further information or assistance, please contact your Lockton Global Benefits Consultant.

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